Motorcycle insurance is similar to auto insurance, typically including comprehensive and collision insurance for you, your passengers and your bike. While things like safety apparel and motorcycle insurance are probably the least exciting aspects of owning a new motorcycle, it is still important to ensure that you and your ride are protected. Let’s walk through how and why to find coverage with our motorcycle insurance guide.
Is motorcycle insurance required in most states?
Nearly all states in the United States require motorcycle owners to purchase insurance and to provide proof of insurance at the time you register your bike. The majority of states require you to purchase liability coverage for both bodily injuries and property damage. The only exceptions to this rule are Hawaii, Michigan, Montana and New Hampshire1.
Liability Coverage: Bodily Injury and Property Damage
There are two common types of motorcycle liability coverage: bodily injury and property damage. Bodily injury liability coverage helps cover the cost of liability claims and legal fees if you are at fault in an accident. It addresses medical costs, loss of income, as well funeral costs in the event of a fatality. Property damage liability covers the damage of the other motorist’s property. Most states require motorcycle owners to buy liability coverage, but the minimum varies state-to-state.
You may want to consider liability coverage beyond your state’s minimum requirement to protect your assets in case you’re sued over an accident. In many cases, the minimum amount of coverage may not provide enough protection.
Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payments coverage helps cover the cost of medical bills and funeral expenses in the event you or your passenger are injured while on your motorcycle. Medical payments coverage is an important type of insurance to have for motorcycle riders and their passengers. Nearly 84,000 motorcycle injuries and 5,014 motorcyclist fatalities were reported in 20192.
It’s important to note that this coverage typically only covers you and your passengers. Expenses related to the injuries of others in an accident are typically covered through liability coverage.
Collision coverage helps pay to repair or replace your motorcycle if it is damaged in a collision with other vehicles or is damaged by the road or another object. The limit for collision coverage is typically your motorcycle’s actual cash value.
Comprehensive coverage protects your motorcycle if it is stolen or damaged by something other than a collision with another vehicle. It typically covers risks such as theft, vandalism or falling objects. Similar to collision coverage, the limit for comprehensive coverage is based on your motorcycle’s actual cash value.
Personal Injury Protection Coverage
Personal injury protection coverage pays out for medical bills for injuries to you, your passengers or pedestrians suffer after an accident. In many cases, this coverage pays regardless of who caused the accident. Not all insurance companies sell PIP coverage, and some states may not even allow insurance companies to sell it due to the high rates of accidents for motorcycles.
Additional Insurance Coverage Options
In addition to standard insurance coverage that’s offered to both motorcycle owners and regular cars and trucks, you may want to consider some extra coverage.
Roadside Assistance Coverage
If you’re stranded on the side of the road, roadside assistance can help cover towing and labor costs to get your bike from the site of the breakdown to the repair shop.
If you use a trailer to transport your motorcycle, you may be able to purchase insurance to cover it in the event of an accident or damage.
Trip Interruption Coverage
Trip interruption coverage can help pay for the costs of lodging, transportation and food if you have an accident far from home. This coverage usually only kicks in when you’re 100 miles or farther from your home.
Motorcycle Insurance Lay-Up Periods
Winter isn’t a great time for riding your motorcycle, which is why many insurance companies offer what’s called lay-up insurance. During this period, you’re still covered against theft and damage that can occur while your bike is in storage. While lay-up coverage can save your annual insurance rates, taking the motorcycle out on the road during this period means that you won’t be covered in an accident or collision.
How do I save money on motorcycle insurance?
Your motorcycle insurance rates will vary based on many factors—including your driving record, where you live and your credit rating—but you can get big discounts, too. Ask about a price cut by doing the following:
- Buying multiple insurance types (home, auto) from the same insurance company
- Maintaining a clean driving history
- Completing a motorcycle training course
- Joining a motorcycle rider’s association
- Asking about discounts for riders over 55 or with longtime riding experience
What if my motorcycle is destroyed or stolen?
If you’re concerned about the payout if your motorcycle is destroyed or stolen, you’ll want to ensure that you understand how your coverage works. There are three types of settlements that can happen as a result of this type of total loss:
- Agreed Value: The insurance company pays you an agreed upon amount at the signing of your policy. This amount is fixed and does not require you to pay a deductible.
- Stated Amount: The insurance company pays you a selected amount based on what you chose at the time of purchasing your insurance policy.
- Actual Cash Value: This pays out the cash value of your motorcycle, less depreciation and your deductible.
Finding the Right Motorcycle Insurance Coverage
Like car insurance, motorcycle insurance can protect you from financial liability if you are in an accident while on your bike. It’s important to insure all of your properties and modes of transportation. At SelectQuote, we’ll take the time to learn more about what you hope to protect and provide auto insurance quotes from some of the most trusted carriers—not only saving you time, but giving you the peace of mind you’re looking for.